Protein Requirement Calculator

Use this calculator to estimate the daily protein requirement that is recommended depending on your weight and physical state.

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Protein requirement 58 - 73 grams per day    
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How to calculate your daily protein requirement?

This protein requirement calculator estimates your daily protein requirement based on your weight. Using it you can estimate a generally appropriate protein intake in ounces or grams per day. Proteins are an essential part of a healthy diet, regardless if you are trying to gain muscle, lose weight or just maintain a healthy living.

To calculate your protein needs just enter your weight and health condition. Certain conditions require more than the average daily intake, such as fevers and infections, or intensive training (athletes, bodybuilders, weight-lifters) - more on this below. The calculator will then display the mass (in ounces or grams) of proteins you need to eat per day. Simple as that.

Daily protein requirement guideline

The generally recommended daily protein intake is 0.9 grams per kilogram of body weight for adolescents and 0.8 grams per kg of body weight for adults (~0.0145 oz per lb and ~0.013 oz per lb). You can use our protein requirement calculator to do the math for your weight with a high accuracy. This is a minimum that you should not fall below, while the protein calculator here can estimate how much protein you will need to maintain a specific diet. If the recommendation produced is lower than the recommended minimum, then you may need to reconsider your diet, especially if you plan to adhere to it for a longer period of time.

A balanced approach would be to eat about 25% of your calories in the form of proteins. However, each person is different - with a specific health condition and fitness goals and your diet should be decided on accordingly, taking all factors into consideration.

For building muscle mass and for maintaining muscle mass through a positive muscle protein balance, an overall daily protein intake in the range of 1.4–2.0 g protein/kg body weight/day (g/kg/d) is sufficient for most exercising individuals, according to a 2017 critical review [2] performed by the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN). In the same statement they posit that "higher protein intakes (>3.0 g/kg/d) may have positive effects on body composition in resistance-trained individuals (i.e., promote loss of fat mass)". Additionally, the report suggests an optimal intake schedule of several doses of protein spread 3-4h apart evenly during the day.

While previously there were concerns related to too high doses of daily protein intake, current research proves the safety and efficacy of protein in general and whey protein in particular [2,3,4,5].

Maximum limit of dietary protein intake?

Previously it was thought that a result of consuming simple amino acids may be to draw water into your digestive system, resulting in cramping and diarrhea in certain cases. More serious conditions such as those associated with liver and kidney damage (renal function damage) were also suspected as being linked to higher protein intake levels. However, recent extensive reviews and meta analyses [4,5] show that such risks appear unsupported by the evidence. The most recent scientific evidence also does not support previously held suspicions that very high daily protein intake might lead to bone mineral balance issues and result in various bone diseases.

It seems that the current literature does not support the concept of a maximum limit for protein intake per day. However, as always, before making significant changes to your diet based on this software's output, be it for weight loss, fat loss, or muscle gain, consult a nutritionist or a physician.


Proteins in different foods

Dietary sources of complete proteins are mainly eggs, milk, meat, fish, and poultry. Eggs deserve a special mention for providing the optimal mixture of essential amino acids, having a protein rating of 100 out of 100. Below you can see a chart with the protein ratings of other common foods:

Proteins in common foods
FoodProtein rating
Eggs 100
Fish 70
Lean beef 69
Cow's milk 60
Brown rice 57
White rice 56
Soybeans 47
Brewer's hash 45
Whole-grain wheat 44
Peanuts 43
Dry beans 34
White potatoes 34

Both animals and plants produce proteins containing essential amino acids, but whereas animal sources usually provide a complete amino acids mix while individual vegetables usually offer a limited set, therefore food variety is more important for vegetarians or people with high percentage of plant foods in their diet. If you are consuming the same amino acid, it doesn't make a difference if it is derived from an animal or plant source. Reliance on animal foods for protein often results in higher intake of cholesterol and fatty acids, so it should be considered when planning a food regime.

proteins steak

Despite being a key factor for muscle building, just eating a lot of protein will not automatically result in muscle growth, so don't choose a diet with a very high protein percentage thinking that you will become mister Olympia. Proteins that are not immediately needed for energy or cell building will be transformed or discarded. Consuming too much proteins is not without negative effects as it can put a strain on your liver and kidneys. So, exceeding the amounts recommended by our protein calculator may have adverse health effects.

Protein percentages in common diets

Here are some common diets and their protein contents for your reference.

Protein percentages in common diets
DietProteins
High Carb 25%
DASH Diet 27%
Moderate Diet 25%
Zone Diet 30%
Low Carb 40%
Keto Diet 15%

When considering your diet plan ensure that the amount of protein recommended by your diet does not fall below the lower boundary. Especially in case it does, make sure to consult your physician if making significant changes (but it is a good idea in general).

References

[1] Katch V.L., McArdle W.D., Katch F.I (2011) "Essentials of Exercise Physiology", fourth edition

[2] Jager, R. et. al. (2017) "International Society of Sports Nutrition Position Stand: Protein and exercise", Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 14(20), DOI: 10.1186/s12970-017-0177-8

[3] Lam, F.C. et al. (2019) "Efficacy and Safety of Whey Protein Supplements on Vital Sign and Physical Performance Among Athletes: A Network Meta-Analysis", Frontiers in Pharmacology 10(317), DOI: 10.3389/fphar.2019.00317

[4] Van Elswyk, M. et al. (2018) "A Systematic Review of Renal Health in Healthy Individuals Associated with Protein Intake above the US Recommended Daily Allowance in Randomized Controlled Trials and Observational Studies", Advances in Nutrition 9(4):404-418, DOI: 10.1093/advances/nmy026

[5] WHO (2007) "Protein and Amino Acid Requirements in Human Nutrition", WHO Technical Report Series 935

Cite this calculator & page

If you'd like to cite this online calculator resource and information as provided on the page, you can use the following citation:
Georgiev G.Z., "Protein Requirement Calculator", [online] Available at: https://www.gigacalculator.com/calculators/protein-requirement-calculator.php URL [Accessed Date: 07 Mar, 2021].